Sunday, November 04, 2007

Birthday Shopping

As often happens at this time of year, I had a birthday last week. Which thanks to the capitalist culture in which we live, is an acceptable excuse to receive presents. And there was one particular present I wanted to receive, and to ensure that, I went shopping for it myself, a bottle of Sambuca.

Now this isn't exactly a common drink in Japan, but it is something that on occasion I have had the opportunity to pay $8 or $9 dollars for a shot of at a bar, so I know it does exist somewhere. Over the course of a week I visited about 10 different bottle shops that I found on my travels around Tokyo, no luck. Until the day before my birthday.

At a tiny little shop just down the road from where I live, on the back of a shelf, which I had to climb over some packing cases to reach, was a dusty old bottle of Sambuca. I climbed up and got it down, only to find the price tag had faded into unreadability, but then this is what bar codes are for so I took it to the counter.

They scanned it, and well, turns out it had spent more time sitting on the shelf gathering dust than I had expected. The bottle pre-dated the computer system, so its bar code wasn't in the computer! They refused to sell it to me, without a price tag, no offer I could make would convince the people behind the counter to part with their newly discovered rare and pressure drink. Damn it.


Vipul said...

Oh dear, so close yet so far!

PS: Happy Birthday!

Luke McCrohon said...


but its ok, I found both it and Ouzo today... $10 each... very nice living in a country with low taxes:)

Anonymous said...

Yay for Ouzo! And happy 23rd/24th (?) birthday! Its Helen by the way.

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